twitter google

Frank Trigg And Matt Serra Exchange Verbal Blows Before UFC 109

UFC welterweights Frank Trigg and Matt Serra may be reaching the twilight portion of their careers but neither fighter has had difficulty finding motivation for their upcoming bout together on Feb. 6th at UFC 109. The match-up pits two welterweights that have more in common with one another than either one would like to admit. Both are in the late half of their thirties, have UFC careers on life-support, coming off losses, had memorable battles with two of the divisions elites, and neither are strangers to hyping a fight with verbal strikes.

“Frank is a dangerous guy. He’s an exciting fighter,” Serra told Sherdog in a recent interview. “I always thought that he would be an interesting guy to fight. On top of that, he just has one of those faces that you want to punch.”

Trigg had mutual feelings for Serra, one part respect and one part criticism. “I became a fan of Matt when he fought Shonie Carter,” he said. “He was brutally stopped in that fight but bounced back and picked up some big wins. He’s a former champ, so you have to respect that. He also carries a lot of brass but certainly not too much class.”

Back at UFC 103 in September, Trigg’s return to the organization was met by a dominant stoppage by top contender Josh Koscheck. The first round loss to Koscheck was less than ideal for a fighter who was looking to prove the UFC right and find traction for a career looking to be redeemed. Battling a younger welterweight and octagon rust were not the only obstacles Trigg faced during his last fight; he had suffered an injury during training as well.

“Six weeks before the Koscheck fight, I blew my knee out,” he said. “We rehabbed it and tried to get everything back to where it was before the injury, but it didn’t work out like we planned. If you look during the fight, I look down towards the mat at one point. In between the mat and fence is a space. I ended up stepping in it and my right knee gave out. Then Josh put me down.”

After the fight, rumors of Trigg (19-6, 2-4 UFC) getting cut from the roster surfaced online. The 37 year old veteran, who has not tasted victory in the UFC in five years, is fully aware of what is at stake during his fight with Serra and plans on taking full advantage of a second chance at rebirthing his career.

“This is a do-or-die fight for me. If I lose this one, I’ll definitely be out of the UFC, but that’s not going to be the case,” Trigg, a two-time title challenger, said. “This fight will go where I want it to go. I know Matt is good on the ground, but if I want to put him there, I will. He’s going to have a lot of trouble trying to take me down. He might have more knockout power, but I have better punching power. Matt is a tough guy, but I’ll have no problem finishing him off. This one won’t be left in the judge’s hands.”

Serra (9-6) was last seen in the octagon at UFC 98 dropping a decision to Matt Hughes that was meant to end their rivalry stemming from The Ultimate Fighter Season 6. Like with most unsettling decision losses, the New Jersey native would prefer another shot at Hughes but is still intrigued by a bout with Trigg.

“Of course, I wanted Hughes again,” Serra said. “He came away with the decision in May, and myself and a lot of others disagree on that point. It was such a close fight. But it is what it is. That doesn’t take anything away from this fight. When Joe Silva called me with the Trigg fight, I said, ‘Hell yeah.’ It’s a matchup that excites me a lot.”

Serra, a former welterweight champion, is moving forward after the Hughes loss with new found excitement for his next fight. He has responded to Trigg’s recent Facebook banter by saying, “Look, when my career is over and done with, I’m the one who can look back and say that I was the champ,” Serra said. “He got there twice and choked both times — literally. I refuse to lose to a guy that has a [expletive] tramp stamp. You’ve seen his back, right? C’mon. No way am I losing to a guy that walks around with that.”